CRINGLE: Times are hard. How about bailing me out?

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Dear Al,

How goes it old pal, old buddy? Still surviving the jolly old slings and arrows of outrageous fortune I hope, not to mention the Great Unwashed.

We have known each a long time old friend. I have always been your devoted supporter as you know. Oh that I lived in Ramsey so that I could vote for you!

Now then Al mate. I reckon that by now a smart cookie like you will have guessed that I want something, and I do. I’d like some money please.

Not a lot, of course. Just enough to see me through the economic problems of modern life and I feel able to approach your good self in this way because up to now I hadn’t heard of this Economic Development Fund which you and Ed have got tucked away in your back pockets and from which you have just dug out £1.3 million for the Sefton Group.

Now the Sefton boys seem to be further down the pipe in terms of jack than I am.

They are big business, I am small, as Ed will know every January 6th when he dips into my back pocket for some readies on behalf of the Assessor of Income Tax.

But I always lay cash on the barrel and if you both could see your way to prescribe a little preventive money medicine from your Economic Development Fund you might save me from going under. As you may know, Al, I also have a high personal regard for dear old Eddie.

In fact, things are a mite tough for me at the moment.

The Examiner keep saying they’ve no more money to give me, there’s the cost of petrol (and I’ll need new tyres for the car soon). There’s the office rent, typewriter ribbons and risible interest rates.

Not to mention the cost of drink . . .

I must also add that if I do go under I will be another addition to the unemployment figures and from what I read in the Examiner the possibility of job losses at the Sefton was a reason for you slipping them the necessary. Surely the same goes for me.

You will also notice that I call myself a business. I’ve never thought of myself that way before. But these days I keep getting emails from people who see me as one and, as such, a source of revenue for them. The other day I got one saying: ‘Dear Terry. Are you losing business?’ This was a worry. I might be. Freelance hackery is an untidy and uncertain occupation.

The email was an invitation to be listed in some online business directories called The Scoot Network. This was a golden opportunity for me to tell them what to do.

It’s you I’m relying on, Al baby.

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I HAVE a new box of paper clips. On the box the words ‘paper clips’ are translated into a number of foreign languages and in French they are called “trombones”.

Well I’ll be blowed.

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THAT Examiner headline ‘New pubic rents points system rolled out’ has made it into Private Eye.

Not me.

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